April 17, 2004
WALNUT, Calif. - Two Husky freshmen earned postseason qualifiers Friday as the 47th-Annual Mt. SAC Invitational kicked into high gear at Hilmer Lodge Stadium, on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College. Thirteen Huskies are among the 4,000 competitors at the five-day meet, which includes which includes six Olympic gold medalists.
With four weeks of regular-season competition remaining in the 2004, Washington athletes have already exceeded their total number of Pac-10 qualifying marks from a year ago, and are just four Regional qualifying marks shy of their 2003 haul.
Five Husky athletes competed late Friday at Mt. SAC, none with more success than freshman Dallon Williams, who earned an NCAA Regional qualifying mark in her first collegiate steeplechase. Williams' second-place time of 10:49.03 was the second-fastest in Washington history, just 14 seconds shy of the school record of 10:35.31 set by Kate Spigel a year ago.
It was a banner night for Husky frosh at Mt. SAC, as redshirt freshman Mike Sayenko also logged a postseason qualifier, earning Pac-10 Championships consideration with a time of 14:34.55 in the 5,000 meters.
Saturday's competition, however, belonged to the veterans, as senior John Russell and juniors Stig Ellingsen and Andy Fader took the track to represent the Huskies. Running in the first of five sections of the men's 800 meters, Russell logged a season-best time of 1:52.48 that was beaten just minutes later in the second section by Ellingsen, whose 1:51.95 was just a half-second off the Pac-10 Championships qualifying standard.
Fader, however, provided the Huskies a fitting nightcap, his third-place 1,500-meter time of 3:48.78 well below the Pac-10's qualifying standard and just a half-second slower than the NCAA West Regional qualifying mark.
Washington will wrap up its Mt. SAC competition Sunday, with five Huskies in action. Also scheduled to compete will be former Husky pole vaulter Brad Walker, who will be making his post-collegiate debut after wrapping up a decorated college career in March with a second-consecutive NCAA indoor championship.
For complete entry lists and live results of the Mt. SAC Relays, visit www.mtsac.edu/relays.